The CIA and Tulane

Many leading universities have a Central Intelligence Agency officer working on campus [1], and at Tulane the CIA has been represented by political science professor and former deputy provost of the university Robert S. Robins, an admitted former intelligence officer with major interests in psychiatry and political psychology [2,3].  Among Robins' publications is a book coauthored with Jerrold M. Post, M.D., a former CIA psychological profiler and Founding Director of CIA's Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior [4,5].  The Tulane campus is open to CIA recruitment activities [6].

One of the most shadowy episodes in U.S. history involves the funding and collusion of psychiatrists and CIA agents in perpetrating unspeakable abuses upon American citizens as brought to light by several well-documented publications [7,8,9].  In particular, Dr. Robert G. Heath, Chairman of Tulane's Department of Psychiatry and Neurology from 1949 to 1980, has frequently been cited for his scientific contributions to this episode, for which he was honored by Tulane.  During that period, other Tulane faculty in Heath's department also received CIA and military financial support for mind control work related to Heath's [10].

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that in June 1978, several university presidents including that of Tulane [F. Sheldon Hackney was president and Eamon M. Kelly executive vice president of Tulane University from 1975-1980] met with former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner and other high-ranking CIA officers at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia to receive confidential briefings on matters of mutual concern [11].  Such meetings and the financing of university research based on CIA initiatives legitimize suspicions about the involvement of academia in covert government operations.

Tulane is also one of the five original universities (along with Caltech, Case Western Reserve, MIT and Stanford) that, since 1956, has provided services to the newly-created Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a non-profit corporation that administers federally-funded research and development centers that assist the U.S. government with matters of national security [12].

IDA and the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA) comprise the Defense Science Study Group (DSS), whose activities involve academia and are generally kept from public view [13].

  1. According to former CIA Director Admiral Stansfield Turner, the CIA's relationship with academia has "been of inestimable value to the intelligence community."  Former CIA Personnel Director F.W.M. Janney wrote that in many fields it is "absolutely essential that the agency have available to it the single greatest source of expertise: the American academic community."  Taken from: Konrad Ege, "Rutgers University: Intelligence Goes to College," CounterSpy, June-August 1984, pp. 42-44.  See:, accessed July 14, 2004.

    There is nothing unique about the presence of CIA personnel on campus.  The president of Texas A&M University, Robert M. Gates, had risen from agent to CIA director under the first Bush administration.  See: David Espo and Liz Sidoti, "Secretary Rumsfeld Steps Down," Associated Press, November 8, 2006.  See also: Texas A&M University, "Dr. Robert M. Gates Biography,", accessed 11/09/06.

  2. AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #18-02 6 May 2002,, accessed Aug. 4, 2004.  [Note: AFIO=Association of Former Intelligence Officers.]

  3. The Payson Center for International Development and Technology Transfer, "Robert S. Robins,", accessed Aug. 4, 2004.

  4. Robert S. Robins and Jerrold M. Post, Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred, Yale University Press, 1997, 366 pp.

  5. Radio National - Late Night Live, "Saddam on the Couch," Australian Broadcasting System, December 5, 2002.  See:, accessed Aug. 8, 2004.

  6. Fran Simon, "CIA Provides Special 'Intel' to TU Students," Tulane University Magazine - News, November 1, 2006,, accessed 11/01/06.

  7. Colin A. Ross, BLUEBIRD: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Manitou Communications, Inc, Richardson, TX, 2000, 406 pp.

  8. Gordon Thomas, Journey into Madness: The True Story of Secret CIA Mind Control and Medical Abuse, Bantam Books, 1989, 388 pp.

  9. John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate: The CIA and Mind Control, Times Books, New York, 1979, 242 pp.

  10. According to C.A. Ross, Dr. Neil R. Burch ("Neale Birch") received financial support from the CIA, NASA and the Office of Naval Research, and Dr. Bernard ("Bernie") Salzberg received funding from the Office of Naval Research, for mind control studies at Tulane related to MKULTRA.  See [7] supra, pp. 143-4.

  11. According to former CIA press spokesperson Dale Peterson, the CIA held three to four conferences a year for university presidents to discuss "mutual problems," and many presidents accepted those invitations.  Taken from: Konrad Ege [1] supra.

  12. See: Wikipedia, "Institute for Defense Analyses,", accessed 11/13/2013.

  13. Defense Science Study Group,, accessed 11/13/2013.